News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Demands Inquiry into Violent Attacks

Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey
Zambian opposition parties are calling for an independent investigation into violence allegedly carried out by a militia group affiliated with President Michael Sata’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF).

“We are making a demand on the police to be professional, investigate what is going on and let us know whether this government wants to govern by violence, so that we can make up our minds on how to deal with such type of a government, “ said Nevers Mumba, leader of the main opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

Mumba says there is need for President Sata to address the growing attacks on opposition leaders and supporters allegedly carried out by ruling party supporters.  He also called for Mr. Sata to strongly condemn the violence.

“The role of that militia is to deal with the opposition leaders and supporters who oppose the policies of this government, and violence is what the militia is going to use.  When this issue came up we thought it was a [fake] story, but it has now proven to be true,” continued Mumba, “my supporters were beaten and some ended up in hospitals, but the police have done nothing about it, even when we gave them proof.”

Mumba says Mr. Sata will be shirking his constitutional responsibility to protect life and property if he fails to ensure the safety of his opponents.

His comments came after a Roman Catholic priest, Father Frank Bwalya, the leader of the newly registered Alliance for Better Zambia party was attacked last week at a local radio station.  Bwalya's younger brother was beaten after the assailants poured several packets of a locally brewed beer called Shake-Shake on the Catholic priest.

Bwalya says Mr. Sata is to blame for the ongoing violence.

“This governance is just bad.  It has gone to the dogs.  I am in high spirits, I am confident and if they want to kill me I will not be the first one to be killed.  The one I follow, Jesus Christ, was killed,” Bwalya said.

But a PF youth secretary, Chanda Kabwe, denied father Bwalya’s attackers were members of the ruling party.

“We condemn what happened at [the radio station], that was extremely unacceptable, but Bwalya should not drag the PF in this issue.  We do not allow any citizen to be attacked by anyone.  That violence should not be linked to the PF,” said Kabwe.

Officials of the Commonwealth Secretariat were recently in Zambia to assess the political situation, after opposition parties petitioned the organization about human-rights abuses in the southern African country.

Mumba says the MMD party is pleased with the speed with which the Commonwealth Secretariat is working on their petition.

“We gave them an updated position that nothing has improved because now we have this militia that is terrorizing members of the opposition and that we are demanding for dialogue with the government so that we can take our country back to normalcy and to a democratic state where we can debate,” said Mumba.
Clottey interview with Nevers Mumba, opposition MMD leader
Clottey interview with Nevers Mumba, opposition MMD leaderi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid